“In Korea in those days, newborn girls were not deemed important enough to be graced with formal names, but were instead given nicknames, which often reflected the parents’ feelings on the birth of a daughter: I knew a girl named Anger, and another called Pity. As for me, my paren
I learned a lot (a lot) about Korean social and political history. I understand now why Koreans dislike the Japanese. And the first 2/3 of the book are excellent as the lead character makes her way from her home and family to the golden promise of Hawaii.
Gem/Jin is an admirable, bold, resourceful girl. She gains work...more
However, as I started to read this story, I was touched by the growth of the main character, who starts out life as one girl in a Korean family. She has a name with a negative meaning, "Regret". However, Regret draws the reader into her wor...more
The story itself started off really strong, and I was captivated from the start. It was a very touching story about Asian immigration to Hawaii in the early twentieth century. The protagonist is a picture bride from Korea, and the story recounts her many struggle in ad...more
A girl who gambles everything to...more
The story is… well… fine, but somehow a bit too easy. Her story is interesting,...more
In Brennert's story, a young Korean girl named "Regret" begins her first lesson in a woman's control over her own life when her mother shows her...more
Indeed, I did enjoy it. Honolulu is a fictionalized historic romantic tale of a Korean woman who comes to Honolulu in 1914 as a “picture bride” (equivalent of a mail-order bride) to escape her life as a seco...more
The book taught us something about Korean traditions at the start of the 20th century and about the influence of Imperial Japan on Koreans at that time. It also taught us about the Asian immigrants to Hawaii and their economic motivations.
Although I think that the murde...more
"In Korea in those days, newborn girls were not deemed important enough to be graced with formal names, but were instead given nicknames, which often reflected the parents' feelings on the birth of a daughter: I knew a gir...more
The Confucian ideals seem old-fashioned and very conservative, "T...more
The 1920’s and 1930’s in Hawaii were known as the “Glamour Days”. Yet, Honolulu does an excellent job portraying the dark side of those days. Although Hawaii was...more
Brennert has a fantastic voice, reminding me of the only other man I've ever read who coul...more
This is a historical novel which runs from about 1916 until the 1950’s, with the major part of the book focusing on the ‘20’s and ‘30’s. This book starts about where Michener’s “Hawaii” left off, but here we’re only dealing with Honolulu. The narrator of the book is Korean. Faced with having to give in to an arranged marriage and to not being allowed to go to school because she was a girl, sh...more